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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 19, 2018 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: world leaders pay tribute to the former un secretary general kofi annan, who has died in switzerland aged 80. ecuador bans venezuela ns from entering without a passport, trapping thousands of people trying to flee hardship at home. it has been called a 100—year flood, but more heavy rain is forecast in india's southern state of kerala. a state funeral for many of the victims of italy's bridge collapse, as more bodies are found in the rubble. leading figures from around the world have paid tribute to the former un secretary general kofi annan, who has died at the age of 80. he spent his career
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with the united nations, and was awared a nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work. in his home country, ghana, president nana akufo—addo said flags would fly at half—mast for a week in mourning, to honour one of our greatest compatriots. james robbins looks back at his life. a warning that there are flashing images in his report. i, kofi annan. .. the softly spoken lifelong diplomat from ghana was sworn in to lead the united nations back in 1996. he was already a hugely respected figure, but this was an age of relative innocence. 9/11 was still five years away, the iraq war seven years in the future. congratulations, sir. applause. kofi annan tried to prevent this — the invasion and toppling of saddam hussein by george bush and tony blair, without the support of the un security council. kofi annan later called it illegal. i think as secretary general i did everything i could, conscious of what the results would be and,
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you know, and being powerless to stop it. i mean, i did work with quite a lot of heads of states in their capitals, on the phone and elsewhere, working with the inspectors. but the die was cast, and nothing could stop it. kofi annan had much greater success in his home continent, africa, building global consensus behind the un millennium development goals, a huge initiative to reduce poverty and disease and increase education and opportunity. the young kofi annan had never lost contact with his roots in ghana, even when travelling and studying around the world in his 20s and 30s. his work for africa on aids and un reform was rewarded with the nobel peace prize in 2001. i think he took the world into the modern age. i think he was the first leader of the 21st century, and he tried to build
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an international community where countries would work together, co—operate freely, and tackle what he saw as the biggest problems — poverty, inequality, climate change, and of course conflict. but earlier in his career, as head of un peacekeeping, kofi annan was criticised for the world body's failure to halt the genocide in rwanda in the 1990s. last april, celebrating his 80th birthday, kofi annan told the bbc his style was to be patient, quiet and determined in the face of forceful, often far louder national leaders. leadership is not about the individual. when you have macho leaders, who believe they have to shine, and it all has to be about them, forgetting that what is interest — what is required is the welfare of society and the people they serve. tributes to kofi annan from every continent praise his humility, nobility, and unshakeable commitment to work for peace in a more equal and sustainable world. as venezuela's economic problems
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deepen, the effects are being felt across south america. ecuador has now banned venezuelans from entering without a passport, trapping thousands of people trying to flee hardship at home, and in one border town in brazil, residents drove out hundreds of venezuelan migrants following a robbery. bill hayton reports. the town of pacaraima on brazil's border with venezuela, soldiers on the street protecting hundreds of venezuelan migrants being pushed back over the frontier. it followed a robbery which local people blamed on the new arrivals. in response, they burnt down the migrant shelter. anti—migrant feeling is growing across south america, ecuador the latest to impose restrictions on venezuelans. the sudden announcement left thousands of people stuck at border crossings. translation: we were on the road
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already when they put out that news, just like that, boom. on wednesday we left, and all of a sudden, they tell us that today. we would like the ecuadorian institutions to at least help us. many of these people are heading south through colombia and ecuador to find work in peru and chile, but ecuador‘s move has trapped large numbers of venezuelans in colombia, angering the government there. translation: demanding a passport is not going to stop migration, because this population is not leaving the country for pleasure, but out of necessity. the first thing that will happen in the country that's putting this measure in place in this that it will see an increase in undocumented migration. that brings with it a lot of problems. with the ecuadorian border now closed to them, and no sign ofan end to the economic chaos back home, tens of thousands of venezuelans will be stuck in colombia.
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a crisis in one country is now affecting an entire region. bill hayton, bbc news. the indian government is stepping up efforts to rescue thousands of people who have been stranded by heavy flooding in the southern state of kerala. the prime minister, narendra modi, who has visited some of the worst—hit areas, has promised more military help in the relief effort. more than 320 people have died in kerala since the rainy season began in june. some 300,000 have been made homeless. 0ur correspondent yogita limaye reports. one of the state's 44 rivers, the kadalundi, breached its banks a week ago, leaving homes and trees submerged. as the water started rising, people fled to safety. some have returned to see what they can salvage. we're nearly a kilometre from the river that has flooded, but even so, water levels are this high. you can see the house behind me,
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and in fact i'm stepping on a slope. if i were to go further, it would be even deeper. but at least people are able to reach up to this point. beyond, there are many parts that are simply inaccessible. and that means these are needed more than ever before, boats and people, to rescue those who are stranded. these are local fishermen doing whatever they can, but hundreds of government boats have also been deployed. those who have made it out are spending their nights in places like this — schools converted into relief camps. there are about 200 families here. this woman spent two days and nights on her neighbours‘ rooftop before a boat reached her. she tells me they were afraid that the house would collapse and they would be swept away.
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in southern kerala, india's prime minister, narendra modi, surveyed the devastation. he promised more manpower and equipment. troops have stepped up relief efforts. where it is not possible to rescue people, they are dropping food and other supplies. water flow is very fast, and it is difficult for them to go towards the open areas. so the alternative is to provide food and water to them, so that they can at least survive until the water recedes. with all of the rivers flooded in this small coastal state, that could take a while, even if the rain stops. yogita limaye, bbc news, kerala. devendra tak is head of communications for save the children india. hejoins me from calicut. welcome back to the programme. you have been travelling around the region in the last few days. what have you seen on your latestjourney across the region? kerala is one of
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the most prosperous states of the country, but there are still a lot of tribal people who are really in dire need of support and relief. there are a lot of relief efforts, being done by many organisations. there are a lot of local youth supporting this response. and most of the relief is focused on school campuses. some of them are operated by the government. the roles are some private schools run by the local communities. and there are also churches, with relief tents. many of the people here can provide limited assistance. so this relief is being made available to people who are affected, and keeping in mind the government, also, in terms of what they are doing for the
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people who are affected by the floods. but there is no child specific response. children have specific response. children have specific needs, and we are on the ground to find out how we can enable support for children in terms of their protection and education. and for the tribal communities, there are many who suffer from malnutrition, also in terms of ensuring supplies for their families, and being sure that schools can reopen quickly. in the last thing to mention about girls, they require sanitary pads, and transport has come to a standstill, with the lack of petrol and diesel supplies. so people are, apart from being stranded on the rooftops in some places, people also are really
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looking forward to supplies of essential resources like food and medicine. thousands of people in italy have attended a state funeral for some of the victims of tuesday's motorway bridge collapse. the archbishop of genoa told mourners that the tragedy had created a deep gash in the heart of the city. some families reportedly stayed away, because of anger at the government. it's now known that at least 42 people were killed. from genoa, james reynolds reports. the campi corniglianese amateur football team came to the state funeral to mourn their youngest squad member. 22—year—old marius djerri was on his way to work on tuesday when the bridge fell. translation: we are very sad for him and his family. he was one of us. we are bitter and angry. these thoughts charged much of this ceremony. translation: i have friends
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that lost their lives in that damn bridge. we have no words to describe the pain. this shouldn't have happened. italy's president, sergio mattarella, met the families of the dead. he has called the disaster an unacceptable tragedy. but some relatives, angered by the collapse, didn't want to hear from him or anyone else. they decided to hold private burials instead. families, politicians and members of the public have come together here, but a single ceremony won't be enough to resolve the profound arguments over the collapse of the bridge. italy's interior minister, the populist matteo salvini, has promised that he'll find the names of those responsible for the disaster. "we will speak through our actions," he told us after the funeral. relief workers are now securing
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every part of the ruined bridge. the company which operated this structure has now expressed its deep sympathy for the victims, but it has stopped short of apologising for the collapse. the technical situation is so complex that it's up to the, i mean, justice to understand what happened, and why, and under which conditions. those investigations have now begun. it may take many months before italians are given the answers they demand. james reynolds, bbc news, genoa. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: why are these nurses in arizona all smiles? we will have the full story in just a few minutes. washington, the world's most political city,
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is today assessing the political health of the world's most powerful man. indeed, i did have a relationship with miss lewinsky that was not appropriate. in fact, it was wrong. in south africa, 97 people have been killed today, in one of the worst days of violence between rival black groups. over the last ten days, 500 have died. chanting: czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national day of mourning for the 118 submariners who died on board the kursk. we're all with them now, within our hearts. the pope has celebrated mass before a congregation of more than 2.5 million people, in his hometown of krakow. "stay with us, stay with us," chanted this ocean of humanity. "well, well," joked the pope, "so you want me to desert rome?" this is bbc world news.
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our main story this hour: leading world figures have spoken in praise of the former un secretary general kofi annan, who has died at the age of 80. more now on that story. i've been speaking to sherine tadros, who's head of the un office of amnesty international. i asked her what people have been saying about kofi annan‘s legacy. it's quite incredible, really, the outpour of adoration that we're seeing, both within the un and also without, you know, all of the world leaders that we've been hearing from all across the world, really talking about the same thing. and this is something that the un human rights chief also brought up, which is that right now, in the world, we have a lack of leadership, a lack of people who speak truth to power. those who really put themselves out there, and don't think about their own political survival, in order to do the right thing and speak
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up against atrocity. and this is what many see that kofi annan was able to do. it's true, as your reporter pointed out, that there certainly were failures and mistakes made during his tenure as secretary general, and even before, when he was head of un peacekeeping operations. but really, the power of the secretary general is often very limited, and much more limited than i think we on the outside can actually see. so to be realistic about what he could have done in those situations, i think, is really important. and the very fact that he carried out his job with such grace and dignity, and did speak out, really says a lot about his personality. and that is why we're seeing this sort of outpour of love for him today. and i think it is evident from the way people describe him and what they've said about him, and when you compare him to other
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political figures, that he was towering almost head and shoulders above other people of his generation. yes, that's right, and he spoke out about that at the time. he talked about the lack of leadership in the world while he was secretary general, and he felt that his role was to speak out and to talk about what nobody else wanted to say, and he really recognised that. and it's incredible to see that, so many years later, we're almost at the same point here. we have the us administration that is very against the united nations, that doesn't see its role. john bolton, who was at the time the ambassador for the us, is now president trump's national security adviser, and we have a very similar situation. but instead we have a secretary general now, antonio guterres, who prefers a much quieter, as he describes it, closed—door, diplomatic way to deal with these situations, as opposed to kofi annan, who went head—to—head with the bush
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administration, called the iraq war illegal, and head—to—head very much with the us ambassador at the time. so really we have these very different styles of secretary generals. and again, you know, i really think that we really need to judge these world leaders and these secretary generals according to the power that they have. and what we can really expect them to do, if they're going to be great leaders, is to speak out, whatever the cost, and also to use the powers that they have to the best of their abilities. and it seems that kofi annan tried to do that, and at least understood what the office of the secretary general was all about. and just finally, briefly if you could, sherine, he didn't stop when he left the un, did he? he was still very active. absolutely, in fact, i've been dealing with the myanmar crisis in the last six months or so, and kofi annan‘s name came up consistently. of course, you had the kofi annan commission, who looked into the situation, the root causes behind the rohingya crisis. there was even talk of him
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being a un envoy for burma, myanmar. so really, until the final years of his life, he was very much involved in world politics, and seen as a legitimate and excellent negotiator, and someone who could really help on the world stage in terms of peace and security. prosecutors will be treating his case is terrorism. iran's defence minister says a new, locally—built fighter jet will be unveiled on wednesday. the move comes at a time of increasing tension with the us following president trump's decision to pull out of an international agreement to curb iran's nuclear activities and re—impose sanctions on tehran. the annual muslim pilgrimage,
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the hajj, begins on sunday. some two million muslims are expected to take part in the five day ritual, held in and around the city of mecca in saudi arabia. it comes as saudi arabia continues to take a more openly assertive stance on the world stage. with more, here's david campanale. the importance of the hajj for the almost 2 billion muslims around the world is as unchanging as its rituals. but the way it's organised by saudi arabia continues to evolve. hosting the pilgrimage is a matter of immense prestige and pride for saudi arabia and its royal family. but it is a huge logistical challenge, which has seen regular disasters occur, from deadly stampedes to fires. the saudis have expanded and modernised the infrastructure around the hajj at great expense. this year they are stressing how it has become an increasingly high—tech operation, with apps for translation and medical help. 0ne innovation is this
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so—called nap pad from japan, where pilgrims can take a breatherfrom the intensity of the experience. translation: the pilgrims are guests of god and serving them is an honour, and we think of them as family. to make sure they are rested in doing the pilgrim's duties. the capsules is one of many ideas we offer in our institute. modernising the hajj is a key gambit of crown prince mohammed bin salman. his vision 2030 plan for saudi arabia is meant to allow the number of pilgrims to double in the next decade. in a sign of changing times, this year, for the first time, pilgrims will see saudi women driving in the city streets. but the crown prince's reforms have been double—edged, with dissent — both from religious hardliners and liberal reformists — being harshly repressed.
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north and south korea have marched together behind the korean unification flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 asian games. it's the second such symbolic gesture this year — they also walked together at the pyeongchang winter olympics in february. a warning — andrew plant's report contains some flashing images. the final part of the journey for the flame as the month—long buildup came to an end and the 2018 asian games began. the fireworks in the indonesian capital lasted long into the evening. this, one of the venues that will host 17,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators. wonderful. well organised. it was really loud. but it was well
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organised, very nice. translation: the theme is about the diversity of cultures in indonesia. that's what impressed me, we consist of so many cultures and that's what they tried to highlight. announcer: korea! cheering and applause. there was loud applause, too, as athletes from north and south korea paraded side—by—side behind a unified korean flag. further confirmation of a warming of relations after decades of stand—off between the two. the 2018 games on until september 2 will take place injakarta and the south sumatran city of palembang. preparations have been somewhat controversial. amnesty international accusing indonesian police of human rights violations with more than 30 people killed in raids in the run—up to the games. security services said they had been ordered to crack down on criminals and break up organised gangs. pollution, too, remains an issue, particularly in the car—clogged capitaljakarta.
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but for the 45 nations competing here, the focus now will be on their performances and the a62 gold medals up for grabs over the next two weeks. andrew plant, bbc news. there mightjust be something in the water at a hospital in the us state of arizona where sixteen nurses have found out that they're all pregnant at the same time. max gorden, a reporter from the local tv station, has the story it wasn't like they planned it... they're wondering what's in the water. ..and they sure weren't counting on this. 0ne after another, after another, after another. 16 intensive care unit nurses at banner desert medical centre in mesa, all pregnant at the same time. did we have some kind of pact going on? the boon of burgeoning bellies has increased trips to the cafeteria. to sample, you know, the soups, making sure they taste all right.
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laughter. and it has some patients a little confused. and he was like, "are you all pregnant?" though there are a few limitations to the cases these nurses can now treat. certain infections, and then also chemotherapy drugs can be very toxic to the fetus. but don't fear. a maternity leave induced nurse shortage isn't on the way. we've been planning for this for months. it's left some of these nurses learning a lesson. you find out how supportive your co—workers are of you, your management team. it's been a good experience. ican think i can think of a couple of theories as to how that happened but it wouldn't be wise to talk about them. hello there, good morning.
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last weekend we had the remnants of tropical storm debbie. this weekend it is the turn of ernesto so we will get that in a moment. ahead of that, generally cloudy skies across most parts of the uk on saturday and more cloud coming in from the atlantic. this is not it is that cloud that has been bringing the rain in from the atlantic with the remnants of that earlier tropical storm. some heavy rain for a while. i think very quickly we will see the wetter weather moving away. still quite muggy on sunday. for many parts of the country, sunshine will be at a premium. some heavy rain still for a while across central and southern scotland and northern england. that should move out into the north sea. a few pockets of light rain and drizzle for a while, extending down into the midlands perhaps. 0n the whole, cloudy
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and dry in the afternoon, limited sunshine for england and wales. more of that for northern ireland and northern and western scotland. temperatures cooler in scotland, highs of 22 or 23 in and wales. a muggy feel really will continue into the evening and overnight. maybe more breaks in the cloud beginning to filter down into england and wales. lots of cloud coming in. that will keep the temperature is coming up. it might be a warmer night across the northern half of scotland as well. here we find pockets of rain and drizzle around on monday. further drizzle south around weston hills and coasts. best of the sunshine in this generally cloudy airstream is going to be across the more sheltered eastern parts of england and wales. temperatures as high as 25 or 26. doesn't need much sunshine. it will feel quite warm. humid air mass across the uk, south of this string of weather fronts. high pressure in the south, the next weather system arriving in the north—west on tuesday. that rain will turn out to be a bit heavy on the north—west of scotland later in the day. ahead of it elsewhere, probably a bit more sunshine around. still some areas of cloud, mind you, and a muggy feeling with temperatures around the mid—20s at best. now, that weather system is going to bring some rain. most of it will be closer to the centre of low pressure
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driving it and the cold front, that weather front there, moves its way southwards. behind it, that north—westerly airflow will drag down cooler and fresher air. probably more sunshine across scotland, northern ireland and northern england, perhaps as far south as mid wales and the midlands. more southern parts of england and wales we are still in that cloudy, muggier air stream and it's here we will see higher temperatures once again looking ahead to the san friday, more weak weather fronts arriving in the north—west. they don't really bring much rain further south but eventually fresher air arrives in the south—east of england. this is bbc news. the headlines — leading world figures have spoken in praise of the former un secretary general, kofi annan, who has died at the age of 80. mr annan rose through the ranks of the united nations to serve two terms in the top job and was awarded a nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work. ecuador has brought in new rules
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that stop venezuelan migrants from entering the country without a passport. more than 4,000 venezuelans fleeing economic crisis at home have been arriving every day at ecuador‘s border with colombia. indian rescuers in helicopters and boats have braved torrential rain to reach people stranded in flood waters in the southern state of kerala. nearly 200 people have been killed in the past ten days, following unusually heavy monsoon rains. the indian prime minister, narendra modi, described the situation as "devastating". now on bbc news, click.
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